12x20 for part of the summer...I'm excited!

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Kimberly Anderson, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. Kimberly Anderson

    Kimberly Anderson Member

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    So my professor is loaning me his F&S 12x20 with a couple of lenses (14 inch and 30 inch) for May/June. I figure it's time to get serious with buying some film now.

    I've never used Ilford or Bergger or anything other than TMax, but plan on making some alt-prints with these negs.

    I'm looking for suggestions on films and speeds and even locations to buy the stuff. I have the usual suspects lined up, but am maybe looking for some other advice not easily found in a quick search.

    Thanks for any suggestions!

    Michael Slade
     
  2. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Tmax 400, get it at JandC......none better... You can also try the JandC 400 film if you dont need to do much expansion as well as the Ilford FP4 and HP5...my personal favorite is Tmx 400 in Pyrocat for alt printing.

     
  3. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Michael,

    give me a call.

    Robert
     
  4. Kimberly Anderson

    Kimberly Anderson Member

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    Jorge,

    I've never had much luck shooting TMax for getting much expansion. I have heard that Ilford films expand much better. (not to get on a tangent...).

    Also I will not have access to any Pyro, so I figure I'll do a more 'traditional' developer.

    I'd be afraid I'd be biting off more than I can chew tackling the 12x20 *and* Pyro. Whew! :D
     
  5. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    Pyro isn't a big deal to tackle. If you go with the times/temps of the Massive Dev Chart, you'll be close enough for horseshoes, hand grenades and government work. Typically, you rate film developed in Pyro developers about 1 stop slower than manufacturer recommended ISO - so in other words, best results from FP4+ are obtained at ISO 64, not 125. HP5+ is about 200, and so on.

    Why won't you have access to Pyro? all it takes is $25 and a phonecall to Photographers Formulary or B&H. Get Pyrocat HD - trust me, it's cheap, lasts forever, and you won't regret it, especially when doing alt process printing. I'd say go for platinum/palladium if you want to alt print your 12x20s. You can still coax good prints with silver papers out of the negs you make for pt/pd if you use VC paper, and print around grade 1/2 to grade 1. If you go for some of the other alt processes, like albumen, not only is the learning curve steeper, but so is the density curve on your film, and they'll be unprintable in another medium.
     
  6. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Michael,

    I second and third Jorge's suggestion about TMAX 400. Used with Pyrocat you should get full film speed.

    Purchase a box of 4x5 and make some tests. It will really pay off in the long run.
     
  7. Kimberly Anderson

    Kimberly Anderson Member

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    Maybe a more accurate thing to say is 'I don't have access to Pyro *intellectually*'. I tried Pyro years ago and failed miserably and after about 4-5 attempts at ruining what I thought were pretty good negatives, I switched back.

    I would hate to start messing around with too many variables all at once. Maybe I'm under estimating myself in this regard, but I am feeling like baby steps are a good thing for me right now.

    You probably don't know this, but I haven't shot film in about 8 years, and the last large format I shot was my V8 'Dorff. The jump up to 12x20 will be, for me, a bit of a learning curve I think.
     
  8. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    Lets see. Its the middle of April and you want 12x20 film for May and June. That could be tough. You may have to shoot what you can get, not your first choice. Most of the time 12xi20 is special order.

    I would call J&C and find out what they have in stock. They list on their web site that they have some Ilford in stock in 12x20. They just did a big order of Kodak T-max film, and may have some of that. But, I would CALL them.

    As for developers, I use d-76, d-23 split and pyro for alt work. If you have never used pyro, then I would suggest you wait on trying it until you have time to really play with it. You have a lot of new things going on shooting the big camera, developing the big negs, etc. Keep the variables to a minimum.

    Which ever film you get, order some 4x5 or 5x7 of the same film and do your testing on the small film. You should be able to have it fully tested before the ULF film arrives.

    All of the films you mention can work with alt processes. You might also consider J&C Classic 400. It reminds me of Tri-x. If you are going to do platinum, dick Arentz's book has pretty good development times for several films in the back of the book. His time for J&C Classic was spot on with my testing. His times provide a great place to start.
     
  9. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Michael, this discussion is timely as I've been working on my 12X20 most of the week. It's also a Folmer so maybe some of what I've learned will be of value to you. I'll assume the person you're borrowing it from will also provide the lenses? 30" would be un-useable on mine as max bellow is 24" and I can just get a 600mm APO Skopar focused if I tilt the lens out a bit. 19" seems a nice length for a 1220. I've done a few shots previous with mine but un-successfully. I installed a new SatinSnow ground glass last weekend as the one it came to me with was some piece of junk made with a sand blaster. That done, I started measuring my 4 holders. All 4 are different. I have 1 original folmer holder, 1 folmer glass plate holder with film sheathes, one Korona type holder (I modified the camera for this) and one Brubaker holder. I found the original Folmer holder to be the worst of any for registration. It has a 3mm difference between film plane and GG plane. The Brubaker holder has about a 1mm difference, and surprisingly the Korona and the Folmer plate holder were pretty much dead on. Once I had these "knowns" I went outdoors 2 nights ago in bright afternoon sun and set up worse case scenarios where the sun was looking at a straight angle against the light trap and dark slide light trap. Lots of leaks to fix. At least all of the problems are knowns now and I feel pretty confident that the camera will be useable this weekend for a late trip into Death Valley. Hey, the cheap film (I got some Efke 100 that J&C was offloading because it was getting near expiration) is 6 bucks a sheet.
     
  10. Kimberly Anderson

    Kimberly Anderson Member

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    Robert is bailing me out on the short-time film order. Thanks Robert.

    I was thinking that I'd kind of go through the camera a bit, but really I don't want to do too much to it. The gentelman I'm borrowing it from is quite the wood-worker and I figure if he needed/wanted anything done to it, it's probably already done, or I'd screw it up.

    A new ground-glass might be a nice way to pay him back for the offer to borrow the camera though. Might have to think about that.

    I thought for leaks on both holders and camera I'd put in some RC paper and take it outside for a few hours and see what happens.

    Jim, DV should be very nice right now. I miss that part of living in Vegas (but the rest I could leave behind...and did). :smile:

    I don't know which holders he has, but he didn't mention any probs with the bellows and using the 30 inch lens (red-dot). He did say that my 24 inch red dot would be pretty much normal on the camera, so I'll try it out and see. I also have this MASSIVE Reis tripod from the 30's that will come in handy. Glad I held onto it now.

    I have heard stories of a magical developing process that someone here knows about. If they'd like to share technique and ideas I would be very glad to hear them.
     
  11. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

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    Michael,

    I've got a full 25 sheet box of Photo Warehouse 125 (FP4) film I purchased last spring for a project that never developed. I was planning to cut it down to 10x12, but if you were interested, it would probably the least expensive way to get into a box of film.

    I like FP4 for alt processes the best, followed by TMY.

    PM me if you would like more details.


    ---Michael
     
  12. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    Unless it is a modified F&S there will not be nearly enough bellows draw for a 30" lens. As I recall, even a 24" lens requires the use of a front extender to focus at infinity.

    Sandy
     
  13. Kimberly Anderson

    Kimberly Anderson Member

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    Craig has used this camera for many years, and didn't mention any probs. with the 30 inch lens. He must have figured out a way to make it work (he's pretty crafty like I said...).

    :smile:
     
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  15. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    Michael, very exciting. I envy the opportunity yer being afforded.
    I got to see first hand some of Clay Harmons 12x20 negatives and the resulting prints.
    made me start to contemplate it.... they are just gorgeous and such a wonderful format.

    I dont shoot 12x20, but do shoot 7x17. I use Efke PL100 (think its labeled as Adox now at JandC) and it gives great results. I dont do much of anything aside from pt/pd printing with the negatives (now at least, started with VDBs), but love the film.
    I sort of jumped into the pyro dev thing with both feet. Its really not that rough of a learning curve. Efke 100 and the JandC 400 films are both great. havent shot any Tmax, trix, or Ilford films in ULF but imagine theyd be just as good as the 4x5s.
     
  16. User Removed

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    I'm also getting into shooting 12x20 for the summer, and was wondering if anyone knows if the Nikkor-M 450mm will cover the format?

    Thanks,

    Ryan McIntosh
     
  17. George Losse

    George Losse Member

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    Ryan,

    I've only shoot 8x20. I know if has plenty of coverage for that format.

    I did shoot with a friend a few years back who used a 12x20 and he used one.
    I don't remember what he said about its coverage.
     
  18. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Ryan, 450 Nikkor is what Jorge uses on 1220. I've used a 450 Fuji C and it has less coverage than the Nikkor. It should be the perfect lens. BTW I was having trouble visualizing what different lenses would look like on 1220 until I realized that 6X10 or a cropped 8X10 is half ratio. So to visualize what I'd get with a 480mm on 1220 I drop to 240 on cropped 8X10 which I'm quite familiar with.
     
  19. User Removed

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    Thank Jim for the advice. Anyone know a wide angle lens (around 300mm maybe) to use on 12x20. Something not terrible expensive.
     
  20. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    Ryan...
    dont know for sure... but I was amazed at the amount of coverage that the Konica 300mm GRII I got on ebay has. I havent been able to find the edge of the coverage with it on 7x17. Granted its an old camera and the movements are not abundant but Ive tilted the front WAY down and it still has coverage. May be a lens to consider trying.
     
  21. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    The 305mm Computar is the lens you would like to use but they are both scarce as hens teeth and when they are found, cost a King's randsom. Next best "wide angle" I believe would be the 355 G Claron. I have seen some in barrel that were not that expensive. I have an extra that has a very modest amount of bloom on the outside edge of the rear element that would very easily clean off if you are interested.

    My 12x20 and 8x20 lens selection is 355 G Claron, 450M Nikon, 19" Red Dot, 24" Red Dot, 30" Doctor Germinar, 35" Red Dot and 42" Red Dot. Don't use the 35" or the 42" focal lengths to often (if at all) as they are both heavy and most of the time need secondary tripod support.

    Cheers!
     
  22. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    Ryan,

    The 450 Nikkor M is a great lens for 12X20. Stopped down to f/45 or more it covers the format with as much as six inches of movement. I have even used it on 20X24 and it even covers this format adequately for contact printing with a bit of movement, *if you stop down to f/64 or more*.

    Nothing I know of in the 300mm range that covers 12X20 could be considered "not terribly expensive." I have a 305 Computar and it is fabulous for this format, but inxpensive it is not, unless you happen to grab one from someone who is not into ULF. Now, just when I say this Jim Gali will tell us that he just picked up a 270mm Series V Protar for the price of a six-pack.

    OK, if you look hard you just may find a 270mm Kowa Graphic that is same as Computar. I have seen both 240mm and 270mm Kowa Graphics that do have the same coverage as Computar, though never a 305. If you can find a 270mm Computar, or Kowa Graphic with the same design, it will *just* cover 12X20 if you focus at around 40 feet and stop down for far and near coverage.

    Sandy
     
  23. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    No bargains lately! Our asian friends that are enjoying a mammoth camera craze are scouting the earth for big coverage lenses. I'm glad I was able to get a few when I did. I used the 1220 Folmer this weekend past and have decided it's just too much. Later today perhaps I'll be posting a package that includes a nice 1220 F&S, 4 holders, 19" Dagor lens. $5500 + shipping. Maybe someone here will want it.
     
  24. Kimberly Anderson

    Kimberly Anderson Member

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    Uhhh....yeah! I'm still fence-sitting on the 7x17 and the 12x20. I am hoping my experience with Craig's 12x20 will help me decide.

    You could wait till the end of summer to decide to sell it Jim. :smile:
     
  25. mark

    mark Member

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    Damn it jim.. COuld you attach wheels to it and handle bars, Call it a stroller and send pics to my wife. :D On the other hand I am still in the dog house for the 8x10.
     
  26. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    Thats one heck of a good deal Jim! I have a 12x20 F&S and its a peach---a very big peach but a peach none the less. Somebody ought to jump on that---with the cost of holders and a 19" Dagor it would almost be like getting the 12x20 thrown in for free!